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Best Places to Work in Insurance 2014: Edgewood Partners Insurance Center Inc., dba EPIC

San Francisco<br><br>RANK: 5<br><br>Medium Employers, Retail Agents/Brokers

Best Places to Work in Insurance 2014: Edgewood Partners Insurance Center Inc., dba EPIC

San Francisco-based Edgewood Partners Insurance Center Inc., which does business as EPIC, is a retail property/casualty insurance and employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm with more than 430 employees that aims to support work/life balance for its workers, including parents striving to spend time with their kids.

EPIC offers flexible scheduling to employees, provides lactation space at its offices for breastfeeding mothers and strives to prevent employees from working overtime. Fathers at EPIC also are eligible for paternity leave for the birth or adoption of a child as part of Family and Medical Leave Act rules.

Mary M. Smith, San Francisco-based executive vice president of human resources for EPIC, said the company's philosophy has stemmed from that of EPIC's co-founders, CEO John Hahn and Executive Chairman Dan Francis. They, as well as other top executives within EPIC, know and are sympathetic to employees' needs to be available for their children, she said.

“If you're taking care of employees — not just their work environment, but their personal environment ... it makes all the difference in the world,” Ms. Smith said. “You see happier employees, you see healthier employees. People love to come to work.”

In addition to scheduling flexibility and parental support, EPIC offers a wellness program to help keep employees healthy while lowering their health care premiums. Seminars on personal development, stress management, financial education and other topics also are offered on site to provide additional support to workers.

EPIC recognizes employees for their hard work through an annual Employee of the Year award, “On the Spot” awards given immediately to employees who are performing well, and discretionary bonuses paid to all employees.

“We work hard, and we understand the importance of having fun and celebrating not only work objectives but also personal milestones,” Ms. Smith said.

Cody Keller, an information technology support professional at EPIC in San Francisco, said that in addition to work/life balance and health initiatives, EPIC has provided him with a friendly work environment in which he feels respected and happy.

“I frequently communicate with my manager and often work directly with the executive managers,” Mr. Keller said. “Each and every one has greeted me with a smile and a welcome approach. I've never felt disrespected by a member of senior management, and I feel that reflects and shows in the attitudes of every co-worker I come across in every department within every office.”

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